The art of gaming, part III: E3 through a painter’s eyes

art gaming part iii e3 painters eyes 2014 artist joshua mongeau 061214

It’s hard to capture the experience of being at E3 in words. Video gaming’s own annual Lollapalooza aims to deliver a single message to a variety of parties, from gamers to retailers: Buy our stuff.

And to that end, the event is designed around spectacle. The most popular games go big, loud, and pretty, and their individual appearances at E3 are meant to capture that spirit in a way that can be writ large across a number of different mediums. Words alone don’t convey all of the sights and sounds of such an event.

With that in mind, we’ve commissioned artist Joshua Mongeau to bring you a slightly different take on E3. Each day, we’ll be sharing pieces of original artwork that reflect in some way on the popular games and talking points of the show, as seen through the eyes of a creative-minded observer. For more beautiful eye candy, check out Part IPart II and Part IV of this week’s Art of Gaming series.

8-Bit Battle Link

8 Bit Battle Link © Joshua Mongeau

The Legend of Zelda series gets turned on its head in Hyrule Warriors, an action game from Tecmo Koei that falls in line behind Dynasty and Samurai Warriors series’. In Hyrule, Link and his pals take on armies of familiar baddies in knockdown brawls. More than just a colorful riff on the new game, 8-Bit Battle Link also nods to Nintendo’s scrappy comeback potential as the publisher finds new ways to dodge criticism with fresh, fan-pleasing ideas.

Yuki Blast

Yuki Blast © Joshua Mongeau

Another acknowledgment of E3’s ever-present abundance of progression hook-driven shooters, Josh did what so few of the AAAers seem capable of doing in Yuki Blast: he put the spotlight on a battle-suited, ass-kicking female. This is no distressed damsel, no frail foil. She’s armed, armored, and ready to save the day.

Paulentina and The Leader

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
― Jim Rohn

Paulentina © Joshua Mongeau The Leader © Joshua Mongeau

These two pieces share more than just a visual connection; they’re a dual celebration of empowered female protagonists that follow a narrative arc of sorts. First is Paulentina, anchored by a quote from author Jim Rohn that contemplates the challenges of leadership. The pulled-out perspective shows a woman standing tall; she’s all alone, but she’s proud, strong, and unburdened. The Leader brings our subject into sharper focus, flanked more directly by the spirit of Rohn’s quote and imbued with the spirit of the powerful female leaders that precede her. She’s not alone, and she never really was. She’s the leader.

Pig Soup

Pig Soup © Joshua Mongeau

Pig Soup gets meta in more ways than one. Josh is riffing here on Hohokum, Honeyslug’s action-free “no stress” game that is itself the product of a collaboration with artist Richard Hogg. The text at the center of the piece — ‘I am tired of being reincarnated’ — speaks to the “shoot, die, repeat” pattern of play that fuels the industry’s most popular games, and the hunger many players have for something more contemplative, experiences that games like Hohokum and Entwined address.

Games don’t simply have to be an endless cycle of fighting and dying; it’s not a requirement that protagonists are merely pigs being led to slaughter. The Twitch branding that frames the pieces is an appeal to all gamers, everywhere: Pay attention! Watch this! Order something other than the pig soup of violent games!

artist Joshua MongeauJoshua Mongeau is an accomplished artist in a variety of mediums. In addition to his work on branding, logos, illustrations, and advertising, he’s also created art for children’s books, film/video games (including work for Lucasfilm), and the graphic novel, M.E.N.D. You can check out more of Josh’s work on his portfolio website right here.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

Goodbye, Machinima: YouTube gaming channel pulls the plug after 13 years

Machinima, a YouTube gaming channel that was launched in 2006, has suddenly shut down, with all of its videos set to private. The #RIPMachinima hashtag is now making the rounds in social media to reminisce about the channel's content.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

Overkill’s ‘The Walking Dead’ delayed indefinitely for PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Overkill's The Walking Dead for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been postponed without a new release date. The co-op zombie shooter suffered massive delays, then received lukewarm reviews once it launched for the PC through Steam.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.
Product Review

‘Resident Evil 2' is a terrifying new virus you'll want to catch

Resident Evil 2 brings the Raccoon City incident to a new generation of players, acting both as a nostalgic throwback and a thoroughly modern horror game with some of the best visuals of the generation.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ update makes you the most dangerous snowman ever

The latest content update for Epic Games' Fortnite adds the Sneaky Snowman item, turning players into stealthy masters of disguise. The update also changes the Sniper Shootout game mode.